ALBANY, Ga. -- Carol Porter knows she has a lot of ground to cover in the upcoming month as she attempts to unseat Republican incumbent Casey Cagle in the race for lieutenant governor.
"I am the underdog and the outsider," said the Democratic candidate from Dublin. "But I think it's the right time in history to be an outsider."
Porter said while she proudly supports the "D" for Democrat that will grace her name on the ballot, she said voters are looking past party "brands" to find honest candidates they feel they can trust.
"It's time for one of us -- a citizen, not a career politician -- to stand up and say, 'No more!'," she said during an interview with The Herald. "I have been sitting on the sidelines for 26 years watching what is going on, and enough is enough. People need to look at the person and not at the party. The brands have lied to you."
Porter, who, along with her husband, Dubose Porter, owns and operates a chain of small newspapers in Middle Georgia, said the bickering between parties is hampering critical decision making under the Gold Dome.
"It's very clear how they are legislating," said the candidate. "I don't want to say every politician is corrupt because they're not. There are a lot that are trying to do the right thing, but we have a few in leadership positions who have used their power to help their friends and feather their own nests."
Porter, who prides herself on her Facebook savvy and watchdog research, said her opponent is one of the very politicians that keeps the "culture of corruption" stirring in Georgia's capital.
The 51-year-old said Cagle's actions in April against Sen. Preston Smith, R-Rome, is a clear indicator of Cagle's use of manipulation within Georgia's Gold Dome.
In April, Cagle, President Pro Tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, and Senate Majority Leadership Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, stripped Smith of his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his failure to support HB 307, the $216 million hospital bed tax.
"That type of manipulation of the system is exactly what is holding Georgia back," said Porter. "I think the people know they are being abused by those in power, and it's time to bring their voice back into government."
The mother of four who has never held public office said if those who wish to do good were not hindered by political drama, then many solutions to Georgia's economic woes could be implemented.
"It's not rocket science," said Porter. "It is very clear what we need to do to bring Georgia forward."
The Democratic candidate said her No. 1 goal if elected will be to create more jobs for Georgians. She also said across-the-board cuts to the state budget are not part of a good business practice. She said a systematic approach to cuts would alleviate a lot of back-and-forth between blue ribbon commissions and committees.
Porter said she also favors an approach that eliminates emotion and partisanship from budgeting and creating policy.
"We've got to forget everything that has happened in the past and mover forward and do what is best for Georgia," she said. "I can work across party lines, and I am not beholden to anyone. It doesn't simply take money to change our problems (in transportation, the economy, education); it is a change in philosophy."